The US dollar was mixed vs. most major currencies despite positive US data. Consumer confidence for August came in better than expected with a reading of 54.1, beating forecasts of 47.9. The S& P/Case- Shiller home price index in June also showed positive signs of recovery climbing 1.4%. The Richmond Fed Manufacturing index was 14 in August, less than forecasts of 16.
The euro is modestly higher against the dollar as a rise in European equities increased risk appetite. Germany, Europe's largest economy, also released data that was better than the previous quarter. Construction investment in Germany rose 1.4% in the quarter, from a revised reading of 0.2% the previous quarter. Capital investment rose 0.8%, compared to a 7.7% fall the previous quarter. Domestic demand was slightly worse though with a fall of 1.3%, from a fall of only 1.0% the previous quarter. German GDP remained positive with an increase of 0.3% in its final second quarter reading.
The British pound fell against the dollar with uncertainty remaining in the economy. Bank of England policy makers said this month that the recession is deeper than anticipated, calming expectations that they will raise interest rates later this year. The falls were kept in check as better than forecast consumer confidence in the US eased risk aversion. Mortgage approvals came in higher than expected in July at 38,181, beating forecasts of 37,800.
The Japanese yen was higher against the dollar as a fall in Asian equities increased demand for the safe-haven currency. The Canadian dollar declined against the dollar as crude oil prices fell.
The Australian and New Zealand dollar was little changed against the dollar as a fall in Asian equities damped demand for higher-yielding assets, even as commodity prices continued higher. Earlier, the Aussie was hurt by comments from China's Premier Wen Jiabao, who said that authorities can't be blindly optimistic about the economy.